A new National Vetting Center is being established pursuant to National Security Presidential Memorandum 9, signed by President Trump on February 6. The Center will coordinate the way agencies use biographic, biometric, and other data used to vet applicants for visas, admission to the United States, and immigration benefits, and in enforcement and removal (deportation) actions. The Center will be housed within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Continue reading “National Vetting Center Established by Trump Administration”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent four cables to consular officers between Mar. 10 and 17 with preliminary instructions for stricter vetting of U.S. visa applicants. The cables emphasize that “all visa decisions are national security decisions” and that additional screening may “may cause interview appointment backlogs to rise.” Continue reading “Client Alert: State Dep’t Begins Stricter Vetting of Visa Applicants”
President Trump has signed a revised Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” It goes into effect March 16. The ban fails to address the original version’s flaws and its thinly veiled scapegoating of Muslims and refugees. Continue reading “President Trump Signs Revised Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry””
Enforcement and interpretation of President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” are evolving rapidly, so check back here for updates.
2017-02-16: The Trump administration plans to unveil a revised EO on immigration next week and rescind the president’s initial travel ban, which has been entrenched in legal battles throughout the country, as reported in The Hill. President Trump said during a news conference on Thursday that he would unveil a more tailored travel ban “next week sometime.” The U.S. Department of Justice similarly informed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the Washington v. Trump litigation: “Rather than continuing this litigation, the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns.”
2017-02-09: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied the government’s motion for stay of the district court’s temporary restraining order (TRO). Translation: The TRO suspending implementation of the EO remains in place. The government may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading “Trump’s Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”: Latest News and Summary”
A leaked, unsigned copy of President Trump’s Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals. The order takes the following steps, among others: Continue reading “President Trump to Issue Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals””
Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is perhaps the most-cited legal scholar of the twentieth century. His reputations for brilliance and for rudeness are both on display in his concurring opinion in Arias v. Lynch (7th Cir. 2016). Continue reading “Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude: Judge Posner’s Blistering Concurrence in Arias v. Lynch (7th Cir. 2016)”
Did you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes ineligible for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key issue for immigration lawyers representing Chinese clients.
Continue reading “Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship”
A person found ineligible for a visa may nonetheless qualify one of the various “waivers” allowing visa issuance. Often, issuance of a waiver requires that the applicant prove a qualifying relative will experience “extreme hardship” if the waiver is not granted. Continue reading “The Meaning of “Extreme Hardship” for Waiver Purposes”
Since our firm’s offices are in China, we are often asked by lawyers in the U.S. to work as local counsel for U.S. visa applications at the U.S. Consulates in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Shenyang. We make it our business to know each consulate’s policies, practices, and procedures. Here are the basic tips we give most frequently to stateside lawyers: Continue reading “Special Considerations for Visa Processing at U.S. Consular Posts in China”
In a first-of-its-kind sting operation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) established a sham school in September 2013. The University of Northern New Jersey offered no classes or instructors. But for a price it offered to shady recruiters an opportunity to obtain fraudulent student visas for foreign customers. Continue reading “Univ. of Northern New Jersey: a Federal Sting Operation Targeting Student Visa Fraud”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to intensify its investigation of visa applicants’ social media. Our law firm advises clients to exercise caution using social media. Continue reading “Alert: DHS Intensifies Screening of Visa Applicants’ Social Media”
Chinese birth tourism agencies are commonly misunderstood as taking advantage of a “loopholes” in U.S. law. But they should be viewed as criminal smuggling operations. Continue reading “Birth Tourism Agencies As Human Smuggling Operations”
Federal authorities have arrested Jason Shiao (aka Xiao Zhengyi) and his daughter, Lynn Leung, on charges of conspiring to commit visa fraud by arranging phony marriages between Chinese citizens seeking legal residency and American spouses. Continue reading “Chinese Arrested in U.S. Marriage Fraud Scheme”
The U.S. Supreme court has just ruled, in Kerry v. Din, that a U.S. citizen wasn’t entitled to judicial review of her husband’s visa denial on terrorism grounds. The decision leaves intact the consular nonreviewability doctrine but stops short of definitively barring future challenges by U.S. citizens to relatives’ visa denials. Continue reading “Kerry v. Din: Supreme Court Rules Embassy Need Not Tell U.S. Citizen Why Husband’s Visa Denied”
Here’s a reader’s question:
I am a U.S. citizen and have been living outside the U.S. for almost four years for study. I got married a year ago and would like to apply for my husband to immigrate. My question is, can I apply for him while I am outside the U.S.? I have not finished my study, and it is hard for me to go back to the U.S. just to file the forms. Continue reading “Issues for U.S. Expats Filing a Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative”
This three-part series looks at shady Chinese agencies promoting U.S. birth tourism.
Part 1 is an English translation of an investigative report about these agencies by Yicai, a Chinese financial news website. It focuses on the motivations of the intended parents from Mainland China.
Part 2 discusses Hong Kong’s struggle with the problem. A crackdown by Hong Kong on Mainland birth tourists is reportedly increasing the flow to the U.S.
This Part 3 discusses possible U.S. policy responses. Continue reading “Shady Chinese Agencies Promoting U.S. Birth Tourism–Part 3: Policy Responses”